Missouri enacted an election integrity bill Wednesday that has a simple message for prospective voters in future elections: “Show me!”
House Bill 1878 was signed by the Show-Me state’s governor, Mike Parson, Wednesday. The legislation requires voters to show a photo ID in order to vote in elections conducted after August 28. Under existing law, voters may present a variety of identification at the polls, including some that don’t include a photo, like a utility bill or voting card.
It also bans drop boxes for collecting absentee ballots, requires cybersecurity reviews and prohibits private donations for elections unless it’s for personal protective equipment, water or food for election workers.
“No absentee ballot shall be delivered through a drop box and no election authority shall establish or use a drop box for the purpose of collecting absentee ballots,” reads a section of the legislation.
Election inspectors stationed at polling places will accept these valid photo IDs: a Missouri driver’s license, state non-driver’s license, state or federal government photo ID with a recent confirmable signature such as a Missouri National Guard ID, U.S. military ID or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs IDs.
Individuals may still cast a provisional ballot without a valid photo ID but they will have to sign an affidavit declaring they are a registered voter. An election official will mark the ballot’s envelope to note the voter’s identity is unverified.
Voters can return to the polling site with their photo ID the same day or let election authorities determine if the ballot is effective by comparing the voter’s signature with the one on file, according to the Epoch Times report.
Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft backed the legislation, calling it “one of the strongest election laws in the country.”
“It makes sure that it’s easy to vote, it’s harder to cheat, and the people can have trust in the results,” Ashcroft said, rejecting claims that photo ID mandates harm minority voters.
“It seems pretty racist to me to say that the color of skin determines whether or not someone knows how to get an ID,” Ashcroft remarked.
This latest attempt by the GOP supermajority in the Missouri legislature to enact a voter ID law will likely be challenged in the courts. While lawmakers have approved the idea numerous times, and voters approved putting it in the state constitution in 2016, voter ID laws have never withstood a legal challenge, according to a report in the Missouri Independent.
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